Writing through writer's block...go!
Miist, of course, couldn’t keep it a secret why she was going to be spending all weekend out of the apartment, so she told Nathaniel and Eliot. Kara knew that Glacia would absolutely die with joy if Sahm could be there, so she got in touch with her friends in the Free Provinces. Ellena told Snow, who proceeded to tell Peter and everyone else she knew (except Glacia, thank the tides). Kirous was, at them time, dating someone who worked across the market from a great baker, so he was told and, in the process, so was the entire market. It didn’t take long for Baez to find out about everything either, as Kara and Miist were awful at being subtle.
So by the time it came down to the morning before the party, almost every single person on the entire planet knew about Glacia’s surprise party. Except, by some miracle, Glacia.
Kara heaved a sigh as she sat down on the large couch in Glacia’s living room.
“I can’t believe we’re going to pull this off,” Miist said from the kitchen.
“Nahli Kara!” came a small voice from the back of the house.
I just sat down. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Ellena, go see what Baez needs, please?”
Ellena, who was reclined in a rocking chair with her feet propped up on the window sill, rose an eyebrow. “Nobody pays me to do that crap.”
“No one pays me either.”
She rolled her eyes. When Kara had first become a live-in nanny, of sorts, Ellena had listened to her fairly well, or, as well as she listened to anyone. Now she was a teenager and perpetually angry at tides-knew-what. But Kara was kidding herself if she thought that Ellena was ever going to get up and help with Baez. With a sigh, she stood up as the small voice called her name again.
“Do you think Moma will like this?” the child stood in the middle of his bedroom holding a sheet of parchment that was as long as his arm span and nearly as tall. Kara could only see his nose and eyes over the top of the paper. It was covered in a splashes of bright colors. It sort of resembled a sunset, only sideways and polka-dotted.
“What is it, dear?” Kara asked as enthusiastically as possible.
“The stars,” Baez replied.
“Ah,” Kara responded, nodding. “It’s beautiful, love. Your mum will love it.”
Baez dropped the picture and grinned.
“Are you going to put a ribbon on it?”
Baez cocked his head. “Why?”
“Well, it’s a good way to give gifts.” The look of confusion did not leave his face. Kara knew that there would be no changing his mind from…whatever it was set on. “Oh, never mind. You give it to her however you want.”
He smiled again and laid the large picture down on the floor.
Kara turned to leave, stopped immediately by another person standing silently in the doorway. She squeaked in surprise, exhaling in relief when she was met with a familiar face.
“Eliot,” she laughed quietly. “What are you doing here already? The party isn’t for several—”
“We have a problem,” he said, taking her arm.
She flushed, letting him drag her from Baez’s bedroom out into the hallway. “What is it? What’s wrong?”
“She’s already on her way home.”
Kara pulled her arm back. “What? She isn’t supposed to be off work until late this afternoon!”
“Well, clearly she isn’t. She was at the cafe getting a drink. I saw her there. She said she wasn’t feeling well and decided to come on home instead of taking her last two clients today. I hurried here as fast as I could.”
“Fades,” Kara swore, grabbing her hair. “We won’t be ready. No one will be here.”
“And don’t ask me to distract her. I won’t.”
She groaned. “Everything was going to smoothly.” Stomping her foot once, she turned and walked back into the living area. Ellena had not moved. Miist was still baking something that smelled delicious.
“We have to think of something,” Kara announced. “Glacia is already on her way home.”
Miist dropped something on the floor and it clanged loudly. Ellena did not respond.
Eliot was quick to take a seat on the couch. “Let’s face it: anything that we do to distract her or stall her is just going to stress her out more. If you are really wanting to do something nice for her, then let her come home and the party will happen when it’s supposed to.”
“It was supposed to be a surprise!”
Eliot rose his brows. “It will be. She’ll just get the surprise a few hours before all the guests arrive. She’s not feeling well. Let her rest while you all keep getting ready.”
“Sounds good to me,” Miist said, distracted by the number of dishes she was juggling.
“I guess,” Kara said. “How disappointing.”
“She’s not going to care,” Eliot said, sounding surprisingly reassuring. “She’s going to be happy that you all thought to do this. In fact, knowing about before everyone gets here might help make the surprise not quite so…anxiety-inducing.”
Kara nodded. “Yeah. You’re right.”
Eliot smiled for just a second, nearly sending Kara backwards in shock. But the smile vanished instantly as he cleared his throat and nodded. “Of course I am,” he finished gracefully.
Kara rolled her eyes. “Alright, well if you are going to hang out here, then you’re going to help us get ready. Otherwise, go away.”
Eliot made to get up. “That’s my cue.” He rocketed out of the sofa and made for the door.
“Alright, Ellena. Get up,” Kara demanded. She was finished wish Ellena’s attitude. “I need your help setting out the candles.”
Ellena sighed and dropped her feet from the sill.
Kara’s attention was just beginning to shift completely to the task in front of her when a high-pitched ringing sound coming from the front door caught her notice. She glanced up to see Eliot reaching for a small telewave in his pocket. He pulled it up to his ear, a strange look on his face. “Hello?”
He did not move from the doorway as he listened to whoever it was speaking on the other end. Kara paused, watching him curiously.
“Where are the candles?” Ellena asked, waiting impatiently beside the party-coordinator, who was no longer thinking about the party in the least.
“Yeah?” Eliot said. His voice was low as he spoke. He was watching his feet.
Kara wasn’t sure why she was so nervous as she waited to hear the nature of the phone call.
“Candles?” Ellena repeated.
“Over there,” Kara said distantly, pointing to a box in the far corner of the room.
“Alright. I’ll be there as soon as I can,” Eliot concluded, returning the telewave to his pocket. He didn’t turn around the slightest bit before leaving and closing the door behind him.
Kara gasped, watched the closed door for only a second before she ran after him.
“What was that about?” she called as she threw the door open.
“Nosy, much?” was the immediate reply.
“You looked concerned.”
“Intrigued,” Eliot corrected.
“Is everything okay?”
“It was Kirous. He thinks he might have completed his project.”
Kara felt her heart skip a beat. “His…you don’t mean…”
Eliot nodded, a grin spreading over his face. “Don’t get to excited yet. I’m going to go check it out.”
“You?” Kara gaped. “Why you? You don’t know the last thing about quantum physics.”
Eliot lowered his brow. “Just keep it quiet for now. Don’t get anyone’s hopes up.”
“Shut it,” Eliot hissed. “I mean it. Glacia can’t know a thing about this until we’re sure of it. It might mean nothing.” With that, he lifted up into the air and took off without another word.
“It could mean everything,” Kara said, holding her hands tucked under her chin. What would a silly old birthday party be in comparison to the news that Glacia’s long-lost husband and son would be returning home? Kara hurried back inside. She was bursting to tell the news, but when she was confronted by a crying Baez and a pile of melted candle wax, she quickly became distracted.